Patrick Winters is a recent graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. He has been published in the likes of Sanitarium Magazine, The Sirens Call, Trysts of Fate, and other such titles. A full list of his previous publications may be found at his author’s site, if you are so inclined to know: http://wintersauthor.azurewebsites.net/Pages/Previous%20Publications.
The Time I Done Pranked Some Spacemen
by Patrick Winters
My name’s Eddie Guthrie.
I’m just a simple backwoods boy that enjoys the simple things in life—prankin’ bein’ chief among them. Nothing’ll get me belly-laughin’ quite like a good, low-down trick on someone. I’ve always had a knack for it, and it wasn’t long until I got renowned for my larks hereabouts. Ask anyone in Bailey’s Bend about me, and they’ll tell you: “That Eddie Guthrie is good at only two things: taxidermy and prankin’.” And boy, have I done some doozies:
I glued Blubber Davidson’s butt to the seat of his ’72 Explorer last summer.
I once dressed up as a zombie and stood moaning in old man Jenkins’ yard; shoulda seen that doomsday prepper scootin’ off to his little bunker once I started hollerin’ out “Brains!”
And I was the one who put Tobasco sauce in all of the pies of the Hoyt County Fair Pie Eating Contest back in ’04; even made it into the newspaper with that one.
But, by and large, the greatest darned prank I ever pulled might’ve just saved the world.
It sounds pretty unbelievable, I know, but here’s how it all went down:
I’d just left my grandmammy’s house one humid July evenin’, and I was headin’ on out into the swamps. I’d set up all sortsa traps out there to nab some squirrels, rabbits, whatever I could get, and it was about time I checked ’em; if I coulda caught somethin’, we woulda had the meat for stew and I coulda stuffed and sold the critters. But I must have been out there for an hour, lookin’ ’em over and turnin’ up squat.
I was just givin’ it up and headin’ back home when I heard a rustlin’ from the bushes around me. Sounded big enough to maybe be a deer, but what popped out sure as hell wasn’t any buck or doe.
From out of the darkness came these two gray, butt ugly aliens! Just like somethin’ outta the X-Files! Nearly made me drop a load in my shorts and jump outta my boots at the same time! Their heads were huge, like a sack of potatoes, and their eyes looked like a fly’s. Their arms were these long tentacles that wiggled around like worms, their two toed feet were bare, and they wore slicker-than-shit space suits that kinda sparkled. And they were lookin’ right at me! I was workin’ up the gumption to turn tail and run when all of a sudden, they spoke to me—and in American!
One of ’em waved its tentacles at me and said: “Greetings, human! Be not afraid! We come bearing good tidings!”
Well, I just couldn’t believe what I was seein’ and hearin’ yet, so I just stayed quiet.
“I am Gloth-Nar,” the first spaceman said.
“And I am Zoth-Tar,” the other put in.
“On behalf of our people, we wish to share our extreme pleasure in meeting you,” Gloth-Nar kept on. “You are the first of your species that we have encountered in our expedition of your planet. This is a momentous occasion for us, and it is no doubt surprising to you.”
I still couldn’t muster up a word, so I just nodded and went: “Uh-huh . . .”
Then Gloth-Nar went into a big ol’ speech, tellin’ me all sorts of stuff—but I only got about every other word.
“Then I shall directly detail the reasoning for our traveling to your planet, and alleviate your perplexity and anxiety to the best of our capability. My comrade and I are Holoneans, from the distant planet of Holonea, and we have been sent on behalf of our people’s ever expanding desire for scientific study. Ours is a culture that thrives on experimentation in all of its natures and wide possibilities, and as scientists, our particular field of interest lies in the biological process of reproduction and studies in mating.”
I finally found my voice at that point, interruptin’ that highfalutin spaceman.
“You mean . . . fuckin’?”
The aliens had looked at each other, thinking it over, and then Gloth-Nar nodded.
“We recognize this as one of your species’ terms for the sexual act, so, in a word, yes—ours is the study of “fuu-king.” Specifically, we are concerned with the proposed ability and potential resulting offspring of inter-species mixing. My comrade and I have been observing your world and its multitude of organisms for a short while now, and in that time, became assured that this planet would be a suitable environment to visit and conduct our testing. We ascertained that the various lifeforms of this planet were profoundly promiscuous, and as such, would be likely to engage in our proposed mixings. We came to this conclusion after intercepting broadcasts of scientific studies and observations made by one of your Earth scientists regarding your particular species’ varied mating patterns.”
“One Jerry Springer,” Zoth-Tar added. “We found his science to be fascinating.”
“As we are of the male persuasion, we are seeking out female organisms to conduct our experimental mating with. As you are a male mammal, you will clearly not suffice; however, if you could direct us towards female creatures which would be willing participants, your aid would be graciously rewarded.”
“We would prefer female mammals, if you know of any,” Zoth-Tar cut in again. “We find their milk-sacks to be . . . strangely alluring. However, we would settle for other female organisms, for the time being.”
Gloth-Nar looked like he was noddin’ at this, and he spoke up again. “And we must make you aware: if willing participants should not be found in our expedition, my comrade and I shall be forced to contact our accompanying war fleet in space; our people shall intern the Earth and take the subjects that are desired for copulation. Your aid can prevent this.”
Now, I couldn’t rightly think of a single woman who’d want to accommodate these pug-ugly spacemen; not even that mattress-back Geraldine Devereux would touch ’em, and she’d damn-near touched all the fellas in town that she could. And I sure as hell couldn’t abide them “interning” the world. Sounded like invasion to me, and I didn’t take too kindly to that. But they had their space-hearts set on getting some human girls, and what was I to do about that?
That’s when I got a devilish idea, thinkin’ ’bout what we Bailey’s Benders call “Chomper Central.” I just hoped the aliens would be dumb enough to fall for what was startin’ to brew in my head.
I said to them: “Well, I don’t know of any human girls, off the top of my head. Ain’t too many around in these parts. Besides . . . if you’re lookin’ to have some real fun with your experiments, it’s gators that you want! You, uh . . . wouldn’t happen to know nothin’ about gators now, would ya?”
They looked at each other and shook their heads at me. “Our knowledge of your world’s various species is somewhat limited. The broadcasts we were intercepting and utilizing for research of your world were no longer attainable following a solar flare which disrupted our technology.”
That got me beaming brighter than a hunter’s spotlight. I said to them: “Well, gators are the horniest creatures we got on this world! They’re four-legged, hang low to the ground, and like to swim. And when they ain’t swimmin’, they’re fuckin’ up a storm with one another! They’ve got scaly bodies and long tails and noses. Awful nice to touch! They’d be more than willin’ to, uh . . . cop-u-late with ya!”
“These gators sound promising,” Gloth-Nar had said. “Are there any nearby?”
“Oh, sure!” I’d smiled. “There’s a whole bunch just about half a mile south of here. They just live in the woods, fuckin’ all the time. They’d love to have ya!”
The aliens looked to each other again and spoke in some language I couldn’t make out. After a minute of discussin’ it, they spoke to me again.
“We will go to mingle with these gators and begin our experimentation. Should your suggestion prove to be worthwhile, we shall seek you out again for further recommendations. Where can we find you?”
I thought quickly and said, “Oh, you can find me right around here. I’ll be waiting for ya! And just so ya know, those gators? They like to “play hard to get,” as we humans say. They might not seem interested in ya, but boy, are they ever! If they hiss and bite at ya’, that’s their way of saying they’re interested. Just go on up to ’em and woo ’em, and they’ll be all over ya!”
After that, the aliens went off where I’d pointed to go, and I skedaddled on back to grandmammy’s.
I stayed awake all night long, nervous and hopin’ that my trick had worked—and boy, did it ever.
The next day, I went back out to the woods, right to where I’d run into those spacemen. I waited hours for them to show up like they said they would, hopin’ that they wouldn’t. And when they didn’t, I risked goin’ up to Chomper Central, where the biggest, orneriest bunch of gators these swamps have ever seen were known to hang about.
When I got there, I found quite the sight. Those two alien boys were scattered all over the edge of a marsh, their heads and arms and legs and everythin’ just lyin’ about, bright green blood drippin’ off of everythin’, torn up and half eaten. Those gators had gone and chewed ’em up!
I went back home feelin’ like a hero (and carryin’ some souvenirs), laughin’ at the thought of those aliens tryin’ to hump away at those ugly reptiles. Talk about gettin’ ya some tail! And so much for “no teeth!”
I ain’t seen nor heard of those aliens since that night, and our world hasn’t been overrun by any UFOs lately, so I’d like to think that my trickin’ those spacemen and gettin’ ’em eaten up stopped their experiments and stopped their people from comin’ to our planet.
Eddie Guthrie—”Prankin’ Hero.” I like the sound of that.
Don’t believe me? Come on over to my grandmammy’s house sometime! I got those aliens’ heads hangin’ on her basement wall!
I stuffed ’em myself.